An explosion at a grain silo rocked the eastern French city of Strasbourg on June 6th injuring four of the 11 people on the scene. Some 70 firefighters have rushed to the scene of the explosion, which caused a large plume of smoke and a fire. Three among the four injured were in critical condition, radio network France Bleu Alsace reported. It was not clear what caused the blast, which set ablaze the silo located on the banks of the river Rhine, on the border with Germany. The site is owned by agricultural cooperative Comptoir Agricole, a major company in eastern France that operates throughout the Alsace region. Marc Moser, President of Comptoir Agricole, said the accident happened while a team was working on maintenance at the structure. Local grain brokers said it had a storage capacity of 40,000 tonnes.
France is the European Union’s largest grains producer and exporter. The Rhine serves an important route for transporting grain from eastern France to northern European countries like Germany and the Netherlands.